Urban Umbrella

I am not talking about Mary Poppins’ umbrella in London with the Banks’ children.

But the “Urban Umbrellas” in New York!

Last year, New York decided to say farewell to the distracting sidewalk sheds that are used for construction and welcome the “Urban Umbrella.”

The “urbanSHED International Design Competition” was a design contest that was about creating a new standard for the sidewalk sheds. Out of 164 designs submitted, Young-Hwan Choi, a student from the University of Pennsylvania, with Andrés Cortés AIA and Sarrah Khan PE of Agencie Group, won the competition with his  “Urban Umbrella” design.

This new design will improve the quality of life by being less visibly intrusive to local businesses and provide safer pedestrian sidewalks. It also provides better aesthetics, more air, and more natural sunlight on the sidewalks. They will be made out of recycled steel, translucent plastic panels, and use LED lighting. The design is considered to be the new standard model for real estate and construction companies to use in the future.  It will not be mandatory, but the design will lower maintenance costs and will not block local businesses’ storefronts.

Recently this month, Choi released the first prototype of the “Urban Umbrella.” If you happen to be visiting New York this winter break, check out the prototype in the center of Lower Manhattan.

For more information click here and here.